MEMBERS MAY HAVE seen that the greens have apparently been darned recently with thin green thread, in much the same way as my mother used to mend my childhood socks. However, this isn’t sewing but sowing: over-sowing, to be precise, with a brand new piece of kit known as a disc seeder (see photograph above with deputy course manager, Ray Crisp). It comes from Holland, weighs more than a ton and over the next few years will transform the preparation, repair and consistency of the Ashdown greens.
This is the latest step in our programme to bring our greens routinely comparable with the best in the country. This will not happen overnight. The greens are steadily reaping the benefit of increased air and light from tree removal and better drainage. Now, following three seasons of more frequent top dressing with lighter straight sand and more regular rolling, the greens are steadily becoming firm and dry enough to support the fine leaved, deeper rooting, Bent and Fescue grasses we require.
Members may have noticed a few seeds spilt on the surface initially. This is not the result of traditional broadcasting: “One to live and one to die, one for the birds and one for I.” Instead, our new Vredo disc seeder plants grass seeds about one centimetre below the surface, thus ensuring that, providing they are kept warm and moist, they will all germinate. The aim is to provide a denser, more even sward.
We will repeat the process two or maybe three times per year, depending on growing conditions and I estimate a three to five year process, depending on weather, to see the full reward.